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Rubber Chickens and Indigo Blue: The RFT Ad That Sparked a Love Story

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The couple's Benton Park is filled with their projects. - ERIN MCAFEE
  • ERIN MCAFEE
  • The couple's Benton Park is filled with their projects.

Over the years, the home has also often housed Kranz's psychedelic black-light theater productions, which have included burning Christmas trees and popping water beds. Water nearly spewed into one of the house's window wells during one memorable performance.

"That's when I had to go to Frazier's and get drunk," Amies says.

Like in any long-running relationship, they haven't always agreed. Amies, for example, found fault in the way Kranz treated his audience at these productions.

"I felt he didn't respect his audience enough," she says. "And so we had ... disagreements about different value systems."

Amies eventually backed off after realizing she would not have wanted anybody to interfere with her creative process, either. They solved their problems like that, working out the occasional issue when one arose, and giving each other room to pursue their interests, often literally.

Because the house is so big, they have their own spaces to do their work and crafts. Living their independent lives — together — for the past twenty years, the two have grown closer to each other, and now want to get married.

"It's sort of — it's better than a funeral," Amies says. "No, I mean, I've always said that."

Amies and Kranz only started to talk about marriage within the last year and a half. There was no proposal, but rather, they decided together that they would get married.

Aimes says that her relationship with Kranz has surpassed the length of her previous marriage, and when she looks around, that of many others, too.

"I was married for 26 years, what can I say," Aimes says. "So we've gone, I've gone past that, we've gone past that. And so that made a big difference to me, that we've actually gone past, I mean, we beat out Bill and Melinda Gates."

Being in such a long relationship with Amies, Kranz says it was time for the couple to enter the new "realm of experience" that marriage offers.

Amies views marriage sort of as a symbol of respect to Kranz, to their relationship.

"It's a respectful thing to do," she says. "And I know a lot of people say, 'Well, why bother?' But it just makes a statement, really, that you feel that it's something worth having."

Marian Amies and Bill Kranz are now planning to enter "a new realm of experience" in their relationship. - ERIN MCAFEE
  • ERIN MCAFEE
  • Marian Amies and Bill Kranz are now planning to enter "a new realm of experience" in their relationship.

And the wedding, Amies says, is an opportunity to host a great celebration, after the COVID-19 pandemic stopped them from hosting the parties for 50 or so people they would often have at their home in pre-pandemic times.

The wedding, at the Piper Palm House in Tower Grove Park, will be untraditional. There is not going to be a center aisle, but rather the room will be filled with round tables, according to Amies. Also, instead of sharing one big cake, each guest will get their own cake.

"It's gonna be a little bit — a little bit arty," Aimes says. "There'll be great music there. Beatles and, I mean, we both love Beatles."

But the wedding doesn't come without traditional pressures for Amies, who says her age has exacerbated pressure for her to look good.

"I think it's stressful because I'm supposed to look good, and I have a hard time to look good," Amies says.

After the wedding, Kranz says he does not expect much about their relationship to change.

"I don't think it needs to change, except that we'll be finally together, you know, according to the scripture of marriage, you know," Kranz says.

Soon-to-be-weds Kranz and Amies, who met 30 years ago through an RFT ad, and have been going on dates ever since, give some pretty simple advice to new partners: Always have something to look forward to. "This year of COVID stopped all that because we couldn't, you know, go travel, but it's really nice having something always to look forward to," Amies says. "And I think that contributes to a good relationship, too."

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